The over-arching theme contained in Lewis’ Chapter 12, which he tells you right up front, is both one of theory, and one of mythical proportions. He is both working out a thought in real time, which may or may not be a correct path, and that the main thrust of the thought is not of a completely empirical nature. I feel very much as Lewis did when he wrote the original chapter. A very difficult thought to try to understand, and even more difficult to put into words. I have done my best here (as well as I can do in a couple days without proper editing and condensing, what you have here is basic stream of conscious writing. I plan on working on this further, because I do see a need of explaining, or at least attempting to explain this easier). As usual feel free to ask any questions, about any part you may need further clarification on.
Inside Cannot be Outside
This is, or should be, a common-sense idea. Maybe it was not an idea thought about much in general Man, but once presented with the statement he would fall back on logic and common sense to understand that it is Truth. Today, we do not find this type of lean towards common sense or logic. So it is with much speaking, much pleading, and in the end much wasted breath that we attempt to convey this Simple Truth.
Inside = Specifically and exclusively in an emotion, a home, a family, a context.
Outside = Anywhere except, inside an emotion, a home, a family, a context.
One of the major follies of today is that we believe we can be inside and also outside things at once, that we are capable of “Co-Existence.” It is a damaging idea, which has absolutely zero evidence of support, and mounds of evidence against it. (Practically, it works out like this: A man sitting in Washington knows what a Business in Maine can and cannot do to survive better than the Mainer does. So he institutes a regulation that begins draining the Maine business because he lacks the context of the environment–not just Nature–the Maine Business is in. When in reality the Washington Man knows nothing of the simple act of Heating and Cooling a Maine Business over a Washington Business. Because Washington is outside Maine, it can know nothing of Maine.)
Sit where you are and think about two opposing things at once, for instance what riding a bike is like and what watching someone ride a bike is like. Follow those two streams independently but simultaneously. Now take a pencil in your left hand and write on a piece of paper one thought stream. Now, take a pencil in your right hand and simultaneously write on another piece of paper the second thought stream. Continue in this manner for five minutes, the result should be two cohesive stories from two totally different perspectives, written at the same time. It will neither be cohesive, nor will it be intelligent.
Modern Science has a word to offer here[i]. The Brain does not have multithread streams. You can only do one thing at a time efficiently. Even people who appear to be doing two things at once in very simple terms, are just bouncing back and forth extremely fast between the two tasks. For instance, tapping you head, while rubbing your tummy.
After this fact has been established, for the most part, life becomes quite a bit less complex than it sometimes appears to be. This principle is great aid once it is understood. There is a great divide between the people Inside and the People outside. It is the basis for the phrase “People in the know.” When you are a Christian and have been for some time, you become more and more in the know.
An Aside on Ancient Wisdom
The concept of this, is the old idea of Age = Wisdom. Our ancestors knew that people who lived a long life were doing something right. We must stop and remember the context, careless living meant certain death, i.e. you could not fool around and play all day (even as a child) because your life depended on hunting, gathering, making clothes, fishing, storing, and protecting yourself. The wisdom you gained from earlier generations was vital, starting over meant you could kill your family by trying something new. Only recently have we started throwing this thinking out the window in favor of trying “new” ideas. We have cut the roots that feed us and it will only be a little while before the supply runs out and we realize what we have done.
The Danger of Forcing Yourself In, A side note.
Therein lies our old enemy, Pride. The idea that God just wants to keep us down, and we really know best. The old, “yes, I know God said no, but look, if you do eat of this tree you will share his power. You are only a woman right now, but with this Fruit, you would be a goddess.”[ii] This is an example of being outside a thing and desiring to be inside so badly, you are willing to forget the warning of the Wisdom of God who says, “You are not just Woman, as if that word can somehow be derogatory. You are WOMAN, I created you to be just as you are. I created and designed you to be perfect, pure, wholesome, lovely, and loving. Which you are all of those things, do not ruin your purity and beauty by playing about in the muck, there is nothing but Pain and suffering, for you and your kin.”
The Higher Sense.
As we have discussed:
- You cannot be Inside and Outside at the same time.
- A man inside cannot really understand the position of being outside without being outside, like the man outside cannot understand the inside without being inside.
- When you are Inside you progress towards a higher understanding.
- It is very much like a path, When you enter |———————> End Goal
- Each place on the line represents a higher position
- Faith is both Divine and Natural
- One cannot become so Divine he loses touch with Humanity.
- Jesus was fully God and Fully Man and yet wept for Man
- One cannot be so Rational as to Remove the Divinity of God
The fact of the matter is, Faith is not blind, it is guided by reason and Truth. We know this and we operate in this type of Faith every day, we are surrounded by examples. As has already been stated, we commonly take for granted the amount of Faith we all employ on a daily level.
The “Higher Sense” much more a mystery in comparison, similar, but sometimes much less obvious. As I have been trying to point out, there is a difference in perspective, whither you are inside or outside. I will clarify that by stating: You cannot explain to a Man what Faith in God is, the higher sense especially, from the outside. You cannot stop to analyze the feeling of Passion or Joy might be feeling without leaving the inside to observe and question it. But, inside is the only place you can really know Joy or Passion.
The basic Faith is the only Faith that is really needed. You can do very well, understanding that God offered a way of Salvation through Christ, and, not knowing the how very well, you take it on Faith that the Salvation is real and that you are given it be merely accepting it. That Faith gets worked out, so to speak, by then living your life in whatever measure God has seen fit for you to serve in your capacity[iii]. This is the Basic Faith and it is required for Salvation, and for serving God. That word that is in Romans 12 passage is curious though. It leads to believe that there are indeed levels to Faith. To think not as highly as you should does not mean to think low of yourself, but to think exactly at the level God has placed you. For instance, if you are called to be a Pastor or Teacher, then you should be an excellent one, and strive to be better and better. Maybe you are a good teacher and someone comes along who is not so good, but is a teacher. There is no point of controversy here, the lesser teacher should learn from the greater teacher (keeping in mind Christ as the ultimate teacher, and God as the Source of all things worth teaching). There is also in that passage the phrase “measure assigned” or, “portion given.” Here is where the Higher Sense comes in. Think about the Apostle Paul’s life, and here might be a good exercise to perform: Read the Life of Paul in the Bible and count up all the times he acted in a Faith, that was far from Basic. When, even in his conversion, he stepped in a massive leap of Faith after being blinded. Paul is our example here, he progressed, as you will see, down the path to an incredibly High Sense of Faith. Probably higher than anyone since. Only a man of Faith as high as he could be stoned to death, get up and go continue teaching. He existed on another plane of Faith, one that put God and Divine will above literally everything on this earth. To know Faith is to Know God, and to Know God is to Know truth, after you know the Truth this world is nothing more than shadowlands. But here is the rub, a shadowland that needs Light, and Truth which is the most difficult part of the Christian Faith. To put so much emphasis into the Truth that this world is mere shadow, but to know that this world is exactly what we are here to save. We are called to live inside and outside, But only one Being is capable of that. God Himself is the only Being who has been Man, Is God, and exists inside and outside everything we know. In essence, He is the only one who can teach us how to Live. It is in Christ and By Christ that we can even have Life. We are all not called to be like Paul if that helps. A man of Basic Faith raising his Children, with his wife, in a godly way and in Biblical instruction is just as important as a Paul to the whole picture. Right now, we are seeing what happens when we have massive Church Entertainment industry and few Christian Homes, it is facade, and in very energetic terms, we need to get back to that basic Faith in a hurry.
One of the best places to begin thinking about this is, if we need God to Live and have Faith because only he is capable of this Higher Faith and of Being Inside and Outside (unlimited) we cannot hope to explain this to anyone else, they must enter at the basic Logic and Rational Faith, understanding simply that we cannot understand anything without this first step. As time goes and they draw closer to God they will have the context to understand a little more than maybe they did when they began.
Soli Deo Gloria,
[ii] Genesis 3:16 Paraphrase my own
[iii] Romans 12:3 ESV